Sometimes the space between teeth is so narrow that it’s impossible to get the bristles of a toothbrush between them. It can also be difficult to keep the grooves and pits of the back teeth clean. Over time, plaque can accumulate in these spaces, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Dr. Raymond Sheridan recommends dental sealants to prevent this from happening. A dental sealant is a preventative dentistry procedure where Dr. Sheridan applies a coating on the back teeth to keep plaque and bacteria from damaging them. Receiving a dental sealant is a simple and painless procedure.
The Dental Sealant Process
Before you or your child receives a dental sealant, We clean the tooth to make sure that the sealant will remain firmly in place. For the next step, we coat the tooth to be treated with etching gel. It takes about 15 secondsnfor the gel to form a sticky adhesive so Dr. Sheridan can surround the tooth with liquid sealant. He dries the tooth with an air gun and cleans it again before moving on to the last step.
After placing the liquid sealant around the entire tooth, Dr. Sheridan uses a curing light to encourage it to harden. The process is now complete. The process of receiving a new dental sealant takes just a few minutes from start to finish.
Long-Lasting Protection from Cavities
Dental sealants typically last 10 years or longer before they need to be replaced. In at-risk patients, having a dental sealant in place helps to reduce the likelihood of developing new cavities by more than 80 percent during the first year. Dental sealants are an especially useful prevention tool for pediatric patients. That is because nearly three-quarters of children have at least one cavity by the time they turn 18.
If you have difficulty keeping your back teeth cleaned and are concerned about the possibility of tooth decay, please speak to Dr. Sheridan about dental sealants. He will complete an oral exam and let you know if you’re a good candidate to receive them.